Common Questions About Personal Injury Claims
When the unexpected happens, and you find yourself injured, you may have many questions. The realm of personal injury law can seem complex and mysterious to those who haven’t experienced it before. At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A., our Toledo personal injury lawyers answer many questions that our injured clients ask. We’ve taken the time to answer some of the most common questions we hear. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for below, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our firm.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
If you’ve been injured as the result of another person’s negligence, you are entitled to receive compensations. It can be extraordinarily difficult to prove fault in many cases, which is why it is important to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney after an accident. They can help you explore your legal options and figure out the best possible direction for your case.
What Is My Case Worth?
It’s difficult to understand the true value of your case without knowing the exact calculations and evaluation methods insurance companies will use to determine the value of your claim. It also is hard to make more than a broad estimate at the start of your case, since there are many factors that can affect the value of your claim. These can include past and future medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, therapy costs, and lost wages and future income. An experienced attorney can give you an educated guess as to the value of your claim, and refine their estimate with further research.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
Some people would rather not go through the lengthy, expensive, and stressful process that is litigation. We understand. Others want their day in court and would like to litigate their claim. We understand that too. Typically, most claims will begin with a negotiation period, during which your lawyer will work with the defendant or their insurance company to come to an agreement about the settlement amount. At times, this agreement cannot be reached, and a case will need to be resolved in court. Reasons for this include:
- The defendant (or their insurance company) will not offer a settlement.
- The defendant will only offer an unreasonable settlement.
- The plaintiff wants to go to trial.
- The liability or damages of the claim are disputed.
It’s rare that a case needs to go to trial, but a well-prepared attorney will treat every case as if it is, and take the utmost care in researching and investigating your case.
How Long Will a Lawsuit Take?
It depends on the specifics of your case. If there are factual or legal issues, or it concerns a large amount of compensation, it can drag on for months or years. Similarly, your recovery can delay your case, since it is important for your full medical costs to be considered into your settlement or verdict amount. If you’re not fully recovered, it can be difficult to predict the costs of your treatment.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
The statute of limitations, or the deadline before which you can file a claim, varies from state-to-state. In Ohio, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of your injury. Failing to file a claim before this date means that it is highly unlikely that you claim will be allowed.
What Should I Bring to My First Meeting with My Attorney?
Getting ready to go to your consultation with your personal injury lawyer doesn’t have to be hard. At this meeting, you’ll be telling them about your accident and asking them important questions about their practice, before you both decide to proceed with the case. You should plan to bring all documentation pertaining to the accident and your injuries, including:
- Medical bills
- Diagnosis paperwork
- Discharge instructions from your doctor
- Receipts for medications, medical supplies, or related expenses
- A copy of the police report
- Names and contact information of witnesses
- Pay information to calculate your lost wages
- Your insurance documents and any information from the other party’s insurance company, if you were in an auto accident
What Should I Expect From My First Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney?
You’ve gathered the documents and information you need for your first meeting, now it’s time to find out what you should expect from your meeting. Mainly, you can expect that your attorney will want to understand our case and your injuries, so be prepared to provide lots of detail, including the circumstances of the accident, your medical treatment, and what your future health needs are predicted to be, You will also need to explain your medical and work history so they can better see how the accident has impacted your life.
After they understand your case well enough, your lawyer should go over the laws that will affect your case and help you understand what steps you’ll need to take to meet your goals for your case. They should also go over their fees and expenses. A good lawyer should also provide time to allow you to ask them questions as well.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost to Hire?
The fees of an attorney can be influenced by a number of factors. It’s often determined by the law firm or lawyer you select. Most firms use one of two payment options:
- Contingency fee: The most common payment form, your attorney will take a percentage of any settlement or verdict award they gain for you, as long as the results are favorable for you. Generally, the percentage will range from 25% to 40%, depending on the details of your case and how simple it will be.
- Hourly/Retainer: This is less common for personal injury attorneys, but some firms may arrange payment on an hourly basis and require a retainer fee upfront before they will begin to work on your case.
Still Have Questions? Ask Our Toledo Personal Injury Attorneys – (419) 318-0772
When it comes to your personal injury claim, you’ll want to feel confident that your case is in capable, caring hands. At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A., we’re committed to being your advocate during this stressful time. Our Toledo personal injury lawyers are ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free consultation to let us answer your personal injury questions. Contact our firm by calling (419) 318-0772 today.